“Early in life I learned that I was a firestarter. When I learned that I could light fires of passion I became a pyromaniac. Nothing is more important than the consuming fire burning in your heart. It shines from within and lights the way to where you were meant to be. Beauty is the light of passion. Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the glow of the passion for life nor a painting more captivating than the artist’s expression of his own passion for what he paints. I am a bright blue electric spark in the night, a struck match flaring to life. I start little fires all around me, spreading the fire and light of vital existence like ripples in the ocean. This is my cause, my purpose, my reason. Being a firestarter is how I make a difference. My greatest desire is to set the world on fire.” – Shawn Hartnell
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Last year googling I found this paragraph written by a man named Shawn Hartnell. Apparently, he is neither an all-known psychologist, nor a great philosopher but a simple man who described himself as a firestarter in the sense of inspiring people around him. After reading, it became clear to me that I am also part of the same typology of people (firebenders). Nevertheless, my curiosity stopped at this article and it didn’t influnce me to search more about my personality type. I thought about what God responded when Moses asked for his name, I am that I am. One year passed and now I found myself in dealing with the problem I left unsolved for a year. So, who am I?
My personality type indicator:
In September 1913 for the Fourth International Psychoanalytical Congress, in Munich, Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, gave a talk on psychological types, the introverted and the extraverted type, in analytical psychology. This constituted the introduction of some of the key concepts which came to creation of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The Indicator brings 16 types of possible personalities. According to Jung – Myers-Briggs typology analysis, I am of type ENFP.
Often ENFP people are portrayed as Idealistic Champions. Champions are rather rare, about 2-3% of World poppulation, 8% in USA. On personality trait scales, scored as enthusiastic, outgoing, spontaneous, changeable, impulsive, energetic, and understanding. ENFP people are ranked 1st of all 16 types in using social and emotional coping resources and 2nd in using cognitive resources, but 15th in establishing a stable social environment.They posses a variety of emotions, and a great passion for novelty. ENFP see life as an exciting drama, pregnant with possibilities for both good and evil. Champions often speak (or write) in the hope of revealing some truth about human experience, or of motivating others with their powerful convictions. Fiercely individualistic, they do not want to be a copycat of someone else, but want to be seen as a unique and valuable individual.They have outstanding intuitive powers and can tell what is going on inside of others, reading hidden emotions and giving special significance to words or actions. Famous ENFP’s include Bob Dylan(singer), Bill Clinton(USA former president), Phil Donahue(show-man), Mark Twain(writer), Dave Thomas(businessman) and Bill Cosby(comedian).
The most observable characteristic of ENFP persons is their love for experience, internal growth and exploring. For instance, Bill Clinton mentions in his memoirs (My Life, June 2004):
“Sometime in my sixteenth year, I decided I wanted to be in public life as an elected official. I loved music and thought I could be very good, but I knew I would never be John Coltrane or Stan Getz. I was interested in medicine and thought I could be a fine doctor, but I knew I would never be Michael DeBakey. But I knew I could be great in public service.”
My Functional Analysis
ENFPs primary source of information is the exterior world, their actions and thoughts are strictly connected with the people and the events happening arround them. Extraverted iNtuition is generally associated with the ability to recognize possibilities, create new opportunities and new beginnings, recognize talent and natural propensities in others, reconcile differing perspectives and viewpoints, rapidly generate ideas, and be led by one’s intellectual curiosity and stimulate curiosity in others. I see the world not as it is, but how it can be. Furthermore, in the moment of recieving the information I ussually create an imaginary subjective scenario which in literature is named the sixth sense. In many cases intuition gives us an answer to a problem that it is impossible for us to get when we are awake.
For example, one of the most revolutionary findings in organic chemistry was the discovery of the structure of the Benzene molecule. The scientist, Friedrich Kekule, worked for years to discover the atomic structure of benzene without success. But, one night he dreamed of many snakes circling together and forming a ring of six snakes chasing each others’ tails. When he awoke he correctly interpreted the snake hexagon as the elusive structure of the benzene ring. When he awoke he got the answer, which was shape hexagon as the elusive structure of the benzene ring. (Gillispie, Charles Coulston. 1975. Dictionary of Scientific Biography. New York: Scribner) Albert Einstein quoted:
“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you, and you don’t know how or why.”
Introverted feeling uses a radar function, it’s a sense which enable the possesor to see through others and know what they are really like. Thus their attitude towards people is very idealistic which in some cases can be harmful. Feeling function allows a person to know what’s happening arround him without making reasons. In majority of cases people who have introverted feeling are experts in body language and predominantly microexpressions (“Keirsey.com Portrait of the Champion”). Generally, this ability is common to detectives and interrogators.
A very good example of an introverted feeling situation happened on 6th March 1861, when Allan Pinkerton a famous scottish detective walking through Baltimore(USA) saw how some armed strangers carried a number of casks on a carriage, he became attentive and suspicious. He followed them and understood that they are planning to assisinate Abraham Lincoln by blowing up the rail way in front of President’s train. Pinkerton informed the President about the plot and in this way saved his life. (Harper’s Weekly Journal of Civilization, New York, 1861)
Accordingly to Lenore Thomson book “Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual”, extraverted thinking function allows a person to organize and categorize things, thoughts or arguments. It is the ability to see the logical consequences of actions. It follows sequence and organization. For example, you might specify to a sporting-goods shop that your tennis racket be strung to a tension between 55 and 57 pounds. If you measure it and it’s not within those parameters, you send it back; if it is within those parameters, you accept it and pay the amount specified in the contract. The statue of the blind woman holding a balance scale, to symbolize justice, might be one of the clearest symbols of the Extraverted Thinking attitude.
Steven Covey is no doubt one of the leading exponents of the extraverted thinking attitude toward life. In his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” he emphasizes the role of 7 habits in succeeding your goals.
Habit 1: Be Proactive (focus on the things you can actually do)
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind (begin everything you do with a clear picture of your ultimate goal)
Habit 3: Put First Things First (manage your life according to your needs and priorities)
Habit 4: Think Win-Win (integrity and maturity)
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood (learn to communicate efficiently)
Habit 6: Synergize ( “two heads are better than one.”)
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw ( allow yourself to grow by maintaining a balanced program in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.)
Accordingly to (wikisocion.org), Sensing, the least discernible ENFP function, resides in the inner world where reality is reduced to symbols and icons, ideas representing essences of external realities. It is associated with the ability to internalize sensations and to experience them in full detail. By example me as an ENFP, I am strongly influenced by the opinions of my friends. I collect data in the present moment and compare it with past experiences, a process that sometimes evokes the feelings associated with memory, as if I was reliving it. Seeking to protect what is familiar, I draw upon history to form goals and expectations about what will happen in the future.
Opinions towards the result
After making the Mayers-Briggs test I was very surprised to see how accurate and realistic was the result accordingly to my own perspective about me. During my life I was portrayed by many people, someone said that i am unique, other recognised me as a fool with great potential, proffesors identified me as a positive, arrogant student, my mom told me that I am very brave and communicative, my ex-girlfriend saw me as an often bored jackass but in the same time as an outgoing lover, in the end all were right. The test result revealed that I am an idealist with strong commitment to changes and extreme feelings, characterised by all qualities mentioned above. The only unfitting issues I saw in test results were my career indicators: actor, writer, singer, not even closed to reality. Nevertheless, I don’t concern about that. Citing William Ernest Henley poem Invictus,
“I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”
I can surely state that no matter what results a test can show, no matter what people say about me, I am the only person who can say what kind of career suits me.
Strengths and weaknesses
I see my strengths as being enthusiastic, creative, inspiring, fun and genuinely interested in people. Citing (Rolling Stones journal, Marty Peretz, Cult of personality,2009) ENFP’s have a insatiable appetite for life and live it with gusto. I see my life as something passing and I don’t want to wake up in my seventees and feel that my life was a complete desolation. I believe in God and life after death. But the belief is not enough, i don’t wait my next life when I can be sure about living my first one. It’s imposible to prove the existence of God as it would be for even Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence of Arthur Conan Doyle, that’s way I see in new challenges new opportunities.
Besides having a strong emotional background ENFP’s have a genuine power of thinking. After Keirsey, Champions are often deep and intelligent, and may be quite brilliant in their ability to tie things together. Relying on external world, I can make connections between events and people, building easily a cause-effect structure.
ENFP’s who find themselves in a situation where they are unable to discover and enjoy new people and things tend to get irritable (Keirsey). This tendence to irritation is one of the most negative gift for ENFP personality because it influences the whole behavior. Some cosequances of this weakness is the problem of starting a project but be unable to finish it, beginning to blame their problems on other people, using logic and ration to defend themselves against the world. As my ex-girlfriend have already noticed, I get very easily bored after getting into a relationship. It is because I obtained what I needed, I used it and after that I threw it away as a useful chewing gum. ENFPs skip from relationship to relationship without the ability to commit and in the same time they are unable to stick to a career or job for any length of time.
Style of Comunication
The best suitable example of ENFP comunication style can be observed in an american TV series drama House M.D, were a genius doctor named Gregory House eludes with his diagnostic team different medical cases. Doctor House style is remarkable through using metaphors, analogies, and other forms of symbolic language, he become bored or impatient with details, like to brainstorm or plays with ideas, see patterns and understand the big picture of every single medical case. This style is used very often by extraverted thinking people and mostly by ENFP people.
In leadership positions
ENFPs convey an infectious excitement that inspires others. Their leadership style tends to be democratic and transparent, with focusing on developing human potential. Champions ussualy make a team member feel understood, appreciated and part of the team. Usually ENFPs are irritated by people who disrespect their teamates. Acting as a catalyst for change they enjoy helping others grow as employees and as people, and grant plenty of freedom to their reports to develop innovative and unique solutions. ENFP leaders motivate with their passion for their ideas and beliefs, and they are often insightful in their assessments of people problems. Because they are so focused on their ideals, ENFP leaders can sometimes neglect the practicalities of implementation. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead (Cultural Patterns and Technical Change, editor (1953))
According to my self-report answers, my emotional intelligence is satisfying, 96 from a scale of 150. People who score like me do feel that their ability to understand and deal with their own emotions and those of others is accomplished. I have an easy time overcoming difficulties in my life and I am generally able to control my mood. It’s easy for me to motivate myself to overcome obstacles and reach my goals. In addition, I find social interactions to be quite easy and fulfilling, for several reasons. I am comfortable allowing myself to get close with others, and feel comfortable being vulnerable enough to establish intimacy. I also used with having an easy time offering support to others; likely due to an empathetic nature and a solid ability to offer advice.This is likely evident in my ability to relate to others, express my needs, and maintain a satisfactory level of emotional health. Since my score is in the mid-range, however, I am not taking full advantage of my potential. Thus I need to work on investigating the facts, and documenting them, before interpreting what they mean, expressing the appreciation that is felt towards others and changing my vision to fit more closely with what is possible.
Every body believes in something. Nelson Mandela believed in reconciliation. Martin Luther King believed in equality. Mahtma Gandhi believed in nonviolance. Otto von Bismark believed in unity. I believe in names. When I was 5 years old, playing on the road next to my grandparents house, I was stopped by a stranger, an old man with a red-drunken face. He took my hand, looked in my eyes and asked my name. I was not scared, with a strong voice I answered, Traian. Smilling he added, now you are playing alone but tomorrow you will lead millions, someday you will be the President of this country. He left my hand and continued his way as if he hadn’t spoken to me. It was the first time in my life when I understood the power of my name. Two thousand years ago, a roman Emperor named Marcus Ulpius Traianus, one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived nineteen centuries, conquered half of Europe including Dacia, a kingdom which became after decades a part of my country, Moldova. My mother gave me his name and an example I should follow. Name is the first characteristic which a person recieves in his life. It is the starting point. For istance Christian means follower of Christ, Daniel-God is my judge, Nicholas- victorious man, Irine-peaceful, Neville-new and so on. The most important aspect of personality affected by names is self-concept. Self-concept develops as children develop, and it is “learned” from the verbal and non-verbal messages significant people in children’s lives send them. It has been well established through research that certain names are generally considered desirable in our culture and have positive feelings associated with them. It is also well established that other names are looked upon as being undesirable and carry negative associations. For example, Curt, David, Diane, Jeff, Judy, and Linda are all considered desirable and positive, and Agatha, Edgar, Francis, Mabel, Marvin, and Phoebe all provoke the opposite reaction (See Chapter 10 of Anderson Christopher P. The Name Game. New York: Jove, 1979.). Because of this, people unconsciously, but nevertheless effectively, send positive and negative messages in keeping with positive and negative images.
“When God was giving land to people, there wasn’t any land left for Moldovan. That is because the Moldovan came back too late in the evening, after working hard all day. By then all the land was given away. The Moldovan looked so tired that God pitied him and decided to give him a small piece of heaven”
This legend describes my country as a small paradyse. For me is more than that, my land is my power and my inspiration. I am of those people who can give everything for my country, even my life. This radical aproach towards my land doesn’t rise from patriotism as a notion but rather from my education, from love of those who gave me life. If they will ask for this in return I won’t think much. When my country’s name is mention I don’t think about its economy, health-care system or politics, because non of this shaped me as a personality. The influation rate, the currency or the population number doesn’t apply to me at all. I would rather think about places were I spent my childhood, places were I learned that my language is romanian, lands were I felt the power of blowing freedom, forrests were I learned what sacrality means and streets were I found my friends and a single house were I learned to love.
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Accordingly to the (UN Human Development Report 2000) Moldova is the poorest country in Europe, the population below the poverty line was estimated in 1999 at a stunning 75 percent (in Romania, it was 30 percent). Yet this study doesn’t say anything except some analytical data about people who live there. It’s logical to say that if people are poor than they are unhappy, but it is not true. The most representative quality of Moldovan people is that they are happy with what they have, they don’t need extreme polluted SUVs to feel better, they don’t need Skyscrapers to feel powerful and they realy don’t need extra-class services to feel comfortable. They are modest enough to thank God for what they already have.
When I was little my parents often took me to weddings ceremonies were I was supposed to meet people and socialize with them. I hated weddings because everytime I was attending, an old woman with an evil smile pinched one of my cheeks saying, I am next. This torture ended when I got to a funeral, found the old woman, pinched her cheeks and told her that she was next too. My parents don’t know till now why that old woman stopped her correspondence with them, that is my little secret. This example from my life can say a lot about me and about my parents education. They tought me to be independent, individualistic and extremly communicative. They knew that through perfecting my dialogue I can achieve a lot. They gave me lessons of getting friends. For istance when we were going on our summer vacation to the sea-side in stead of swimming and playing as a normal kid I was imposed to make friends. After many years I found a quote written by Martin L. King which made me understand the importance of my family in my personal growth “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Culture and Customs
Citing (Hary C. Study, Cultural influences on personality, Annual Review of Psychology, 2002) Personality is shaped by both genetic and environmental influences. Among the most important of the latter are cultural influences. Culture is transmitted through language and the modeling of behavior when conditions permit humans to communicate through shared language, by living in the same historic period, and when they are sufficiently proximal to influence each other. Moldovan culture is best evidenced in such areas as national music and dances, national foods, handcrafts, customs related to weddings, engagements, and baptizing, Christmas and Easter, as well as some interesting pagan rituals like Martsishor.The most eloquent traditions in Moldova are those related to weddings, engagements, and baptizing. At this type of events many bright aspects of Moldova’s cultural heritage are presented – starting from the order in which the guests are to be seated and ending with the dishes in which the food is served. An authentic Moldovan wedding cannot take place without national music and dances. After having drank a considerable amount of wine the guests start dancing the Hora. Hora is a national dance that requires a relatively large group of people to hold hands and form a circle. There can be several circles one inside of the other, all moving in opposite directions. All this dancing is accompanied by live music. The most popular Moldovan musical instruments are Å£îmbal, cimpoi, fluer, nai, cobza, and toba. The rhythm of Moldovan national music is generally upbeat and joyful, however many slower lyrical motives are present. All this special traditions influenced me to respect hollydays (Martisor), enjoy the life (celebrations) and be joyfull (dancing Hora).
Darrell Zahorsky in “Small Business Guide” says that there are 9 personality types of entrepreneurs, and the ENFPs are more likely to relate to the Fireballers. A business owned and operated by a Fireball is full of life, energy and optimism. Their company is life-energizing and makes customers feel the company has a get it done attitude in a fun playful manner.The main alert for this kind of entrepreneurs is that they may over commit their teams and act too impulsively. An entrepreneurial example may be Malcolm Forbes, Publisher, Forbes Magazine.
The entrepreneur (a businessman in this context) plans and executes various business policies.
A properly management concern is generally a reflection of leadership qualities of the businessman. There are certain qualities which are considered inherent but there are some other qualities which may be acquired by experience and training. Some of the important qualities which the businessman should possess are discussed as follows:
Knowledge of Business
The businessman should have a thorough understanding of his business. He should be clear about the aims and objectives of the organization. He should have a thorough understanding of different functional areas. The knowledge of business should be supplemented by the knowledge of trade, finance, marketing, mercantile laws. The knowledge of all these aspects is essential to tackle complex business problems. In majority of cases the Knowledge of Business can be assured through experience and well-based education. I am very straightforward person who spends a lot of time on improving my knowledge and understanding the world around me, this will be beneficial to succeed in this quality.
A pleasing personality is always an asset. Personality includes various qualities and talents which are necessary for making a businessman successful. The businessman should be able to impress people and should be able to get all round co-operations from them. He should be friendly with his employees and customers. The pleasing manners of a person also encourage others to have business dealings with him. On the contrary, people avoid dealing with a man with bad manners and short temper. Being an ENFP who is very commited in case of cooperation and dialogue to be impressive is simple and easy to realise. I had always pleasure when I impressed people around me because it made me feel important and unique.
A businessman should be hard working. There is no substitute for hard work. Success and hard work go together. He should be dedicated to his work. His work will motivate his employees to work with the same zeal. A person who himself shirks hard work will not be able to get more work from others. My problem in this case is assuring a stable process because my hard working aptitudes are decreasing with time spend on job place. I feel very enthusiastic from the beginning and do my best to impress but this adaptability slows down when I get high-positive comments. Now I try to do my best dealing with this unpredictable problem.
A businessman has to deal with many complex problems. He has to seek the co-operation of a large number of persons in solving his problems. The dependence on others is necessity in the present day business world. The business should co-operate with others and should also have the capacity to get co-operation from them. He should be able to adapt himself to all kinds of people and situations. Adaptation is very suitable for me, I see myself as a part of complex world and appreciate different styles and cultures in doing business because it is very effective in the means of brainstorming ideas.
One has to deal with a number of problems in the business. Sometimes, there are conflicting demands from different sides. The consumers, employees and government want the businessman to considerate to their demands. He has to reconcile various interests. The courage and foresightedness of the businessman will help him to take important decisions. He should not feel helpless in the face of difficulties. Business is not an easy task these days. Only those persons will be successful who will have the capacity to face difficulties with a smiling face. As my parents tought me from my birth to do not fear anything, I can firmly state that I am risky enough to pass every limits for my company purpose.
Initiative and Decision-making Power
A businessman has to tackle many problems every day. He has also to take decisions. He should have the ability to decide things at the proper time. He has to channelize the energies of the group in a bid to achieve organizational goals. He should take initiative in tackling various problems and should take them as a challenge. Challenges are entartaining that’s way I consider initiative and decision-making abilities part of my behaviour. Taking responsability is another prior function of my attitude. I love the moments when everybody is afraid of doing the first step fearing consequances, I feel important and justified to take responsability on my shoulders.
Cordial Relations with Employees and Customers
Customers and employees are an integral part of the business. He should tactfully deal with their problems. “Customers” satisfaction is essential to stay in business. He should try to understand the likings and disliking of his customers and should try to satisfy them. He should also try to understand the difficulties of his employees. They should be given incentive for doing more work. Cordial relations with employees and customers will help him to build up goodwill for the business. Understanding people is my ace, understanding customers taking in consideration their needs will be simple for me. I should just listen to them.
Discipline is an essential trait in the personality of successful businessman. He should give a lead to his employees. He should follow various rules and regulations strictly. First, he should be disciplined, only then he can expect others to be disciplined. No organization can work without discipline. This point I consider the weakest in terms of my personality, I have never been disciplined. I thought that rules were created for breaking them. I see that as my most serious problem which I should deal with.
Jung, C.G. (1971). Psychological Types. (6th ed.). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Jung, Carl Gustav (1965). Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Vintage Books: New York, 1965.
Jung Typology Testâ„¢, http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp
Bess, T.L.; Harvey, R.J.; and Swartz, D. (2003). Hierarchical Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Myers, Isabel Briggs (1980). Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type. Davies-Black Publishing; Reprint edition (May 1, 1995).
Clinton, Bill. My Life. (2004)
Gillispie, Charles Coulston. 1975. Dictionary of Scientific Biography. New York: Scribner
Harper’s Weekly Journal of Civilization, New York, 1861
Lenore Thomson, Personality Type (Jung on the Hudson Book Series), 2002
Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989)
Rolling Stones journal, Marty Peretz, Cult of personality,2009
Margaret Mead (Cultural Patterns and Technical Change, editor (1953))
Anderson Christopher P. The Name Game. New York: Jove, 1979
UN Human Development Report 2000
Hary C. Study, Cultural influences on personality, Annual Review of Psychology, 2002
Darrell Zahorsky, Small Business Guide, New York, 2005
Keirsey.com – David Keirsey’s homepage
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